Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services | CLINIC

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

Aug 20, 2015
Louise Maria Puck & Leya Speasmaker

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS), a CLINIC affiliate located in Sacramento, California, focuses its wide array of services through a lens of immigrant integration. Clients coming to SFBFS are screened for eligibility for any of the available services including immigrant legal services. SFBFS views it as their responsibility to serve the whole client, thus leading them, after almost 30 years of serving as the community’s food bank, to establish an immigrant legal services program to further assist their community.

SFBFS was founded in 1976 by Father Dan Madigan, a Catholic priest associated with Sacramento Catholic Charities.  The capacity SFBFS has grown steadily and, after merging with another food bank, recently became the main county food bank. SFBFS serves about 150,000 people throughout Sacramento. The uniqueness of the organization is its ability to support individuals and families across the Sacramento community with a broad range of services.

SFBFS offers a robust education program, with classes in different locations and geared towards various areas of interest and age groups. Through the Parent Education program, parents are offered courses focusing on a variety of family and life issues parents face today. The Adult Education program offers a great variety of classes from GED preparation, Adult Basic Education, ESL classes, basic and specialized computer courses, and classes focusing on different aspects of the job searching process. There is an equivalent amount of classes offered to children from 1-18 years of age. The primary focus of these classes is tutoring, enrichment and college and career readiness. Through their clothing program, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services provides over 225,000 articles of clothing free of charge to families and individuals in need throughout the Sacramento community. SFBFS also offers a hands-on demonstration garden and partners with local health care agencies, encouraging clients to learn more about leading healthy, active lives.

Recently, in response to a growing need, SFBFS decided to expand their service operations by offering additional programs geared towards supporting immigrant and refugee integration.  For instance, they now manage the refugee resettlement program in partnership with the Diocese of Sacramento.  In their new role, SFBFS offers legal services to individuals requiring legal support and representation in immigration matters.

As a part of these new initiatives, SFBFS felt that it was important to enhance the relationship between their organization and local parishes. The new Parish Liaison is responsible for encouraging and increasing parishes’ support of the programs. This is done through outreach, special events and by spreading awareness of the availability of services by, for instance, making sure that information about new immigration law services is passed on to church-goers.

CLINIC applauds SFBFS in its initiative to further serve their community by making immigrant integration an organizational priority. To learn more about Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, please go to: www.sacramentofoodbank.org or you can contact Director of Family Services Genevieve Levy at programs@sacramentofoodbank.org

If you have an integration initiative you would like CLINIC to highlight, please contact program manager Leya Speasmaker, Integration Program Manager at lspeasmaker@cliniclegal.org